Originally created 04/08/01

Chronicle selects all-area basketball teams



Another high school basketball season is in the books and The Augusta Chronicle honors the area's best for one final time this season with its all-area basketball teams.

In an uncharacteristic season, only one team from The Chronicle coverage area played for a state basketball championship. For the third straight year, Farrell Zissette guided Blackville-Hilda's Lady Hawks to the Class A basketball title.

In private schools, John Hancock's Lady Rebels finished as the Georgia Independent School Association's Class AA runnerup while Briarwood's Lady Buccaneers advanced to the GISA Class AA Final Four.

However, after Blackville-Hilda, John Hancock and Briarwood's girls, no team in the area advanced past the state quarterfinals.

Team play may have been down this year but the area wasn't short on talented players. Two of South Carolina's best garnered co-Player of the Year honors in South Carolina - Blackville-Hilda's Nick Thomas and Barnwell's Orlando Rivera - after posting stellar senior campaigns.

Thomas netted over 1,000 points in his two-year career and was a finalist for South Carolina's Mr. Basketball. Rivera also had an impressive resume, averaging 26.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game to help lead Barnwell into the Class AA Lower State quarterfinals.

Curtis Baptist's Nick Jones was named Independent School Boys Player of the Year after helping the Cavaliers to a 20-10 mark while Briarwood junior Laine Bradshaw garnered Independent Girls Player of the Year.

In Georgia schools, Josey's Tony Mitchell was named the Georgia Boys Player of the Year while Thomson junior Monique Martin is the Georgia Girls Player of the Year.

Reach Tim Morse at (706) 823-3216 or timmorse@augustachronicle.com.